This month of October, we continue with our theme from last month CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH.
3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
In contending for the faith, we must ask ourselves this question about our Christianity.
Am I a consumer or contributing Christian?
SO, YOU MIGHT ASK WHO IS A CONSUMER, CHRISTIAN?
A consumer Christian is that individual who believes he/she can buy anything – even their spiritual connection to God. Some simply attend church to consume the message, they attend services, they only come for what they can get from a Church. They go from Church to church looking for a perfect sermon, a perfect praise and worship team. They get lost in the spiritual atmosphere of the Church without contributing to any aspect of the church, when they grow tired of a Church, they simply move on to another Church that will give them what they long for. They attend seminars and conferences. While this may provide some temporary satisfaction. They receive prophetic words and put it on the shelf and do nothing about it. They miss out on the true benefit of Christianity and their calling.
SO, WHO IS A CONTRIBUTING CHRISTIAN?
The contributing Christian is one who counts the costs of what it means to follow Jesus. He/she is focused on the needs of others. They understand what it means to be a blessing to others. They understand that they are more blessed as givers than takers. They do not expect everything to go their way. They are willing to forgo their comfort to see someone else to come to know Jesus. They hear the call and respond to the call. They are ready to learn and be discipled. They also disciple others. They bear fruits.
HOW SHOULD A CHRISTIAN DEAL WITH CONSUMERISM?
In contending for your faith, you will have to deal with the spirit of consumerism. This spirit deprives one of truly serving Christ. It deprives one of bearing fruit.
As a Christian one must keep a check on one’s heart and guard it against consumerism. One must recognise that the will of God for our lives is not that we continually acquire more and better, but that we seek “His kingdom and His righteousness” Matthew 6:33.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
In seeking God’s kingdom first, we will be contributing Christians. Jesus spoke so much more about the Kingdom of God. In contending for the faith, we have to seek the father’s Kingdom also.
Paul in quick succession gives a picture of the attributes of a contributing Christian.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Paul tells us that a contributing Christian must
- Have sincere Love, be devoted to one another in love.
- Hate evil and do what is good
- Honour other people above yourself
- Be zealous
- Keep your spiritual fire burning
- Be Joyful
- Be hopeful
- Be patient in your affliction
- Be faithful in your prayer.
- Give to the needy
- Be Hospitable
- Be a blessing to others
- Do not seek to revenge yourself
- Rejoice with those who rejoice
- Mourn with those who mourn
- Live in Harmony
- Be humble
- Allow God to fight your battle
- Feed your enemy, give them water to drink
- Do not allow evil, and evil people define your Christianity.
1 Peter 1:8
There is so much joy for a Christian, who contributes to the growth of the Kingdom of God.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
For us to fully benefit from our relationship with Jesus and experience inexpressible and glorious joy we will need to give more than we receive.
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
The Kingdom of God is not about consuming it is about pleasing God.